Former Germany international Michael Ballack has hit out at the recently retired Philipp Lahm for his handling of the captaincy controversy that surrounded the two during their playing days with the national side.
Lahm brought an end to his career after Bayern Munich's 4-1 thrashing of Freiburg and received a rousing reception when the was substituted late on.
Michael Ballack: "The way Philipp Lahm took the Germany captain armband from me in 2010 after my injury was not so nice" [Sport1] pic.twitter.com/b8HDndCswn— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) 21 May 2017
The 33-year-old has been widely praised for his professional attitude and a successful career that saw him win numerous Bundesliga titles, a Champions League, and the 2014 World Cup with Germany.
But whilst Lahm has been showered with affection from many across Europe, his former international teammate has launched a scathing attack on the defender, as he suggested that that he got to know the full-back's 'other face.'
Speaking to Sport1 Doppelpass, Ballack said, as translated by FourFourTwo:
"I didn't know that a player who takes on the role of captain doesn't have to give it back afterwards. That was a frontal attack.
"I never made the step back to the national team after that incident. I had no chance to do anything against it. The way it took place was absolutely not okay."
Ballack was referring to the 2010 World Cup, which he missed out on through injury. Lahm was chosen to captain the German side in place of the injured Chelsea midfielder, but whilst it was meant to be a temporary appointment, the Bayern star insisted he wanted to keep hold of the armband for the long-term and was subsequently handed the role on a full-time basis.
Although his comments from the other day sound a little sour, Ballack did have the backing of many at the time of the incident, and it remains a blemish on Lahm's record that he will clearly not forget anytime soon.
The Bayern Munich fans celebrate a club legend. A worthy tribute to Philip Lahm. pic.twitter.com/eOGOnmrI09— Bolarinwa Olajide (@iambolar) May 20, 2017